New stroke event options considered in West Sussex - Worthing Hospital could lose site

Changes to care for stroke patients in West Sussex are being considered, with the possibility that Worthing could lose its site for acute stroke events.
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The NHS Sussex Board is due to meet tomorrow (Wednesday, January 4) to discuss how ‘improved clinical outcomes’ can be delivered by stroke services in coastal West Sussex.

The University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex) has formed an acute stroke pre-consultation business case (PCBC), which will be reviewed during the hearing.

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Explaining one option being considered, an NHS spokesperson said: “The population of Adur, Arun, Chichester, Worthing and south of Horsham, access acute stroke services for the full episode of acute care at a single sited acute stroke centre at St Richard’s Hospital Chichester, or the comprehensive stroke centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton (known as option 4b).

Worthing Hospital would no longer be a receiving site for acute stroke events. Photo: Eddie MitchellWorthing Hospital would no longer be a receiving site for acute stroke events. Photo: Eddie Mitchell
Worthing Hospital would no longer be a receiving site for acute stroke events. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

"Worthing Hospital would no longer be a receiving site for acute stroke events.”

The board has been requested to; agree that the case has sufficiently demonstrated that proposals will improve population outcomes and paid due regard to NHS Sussex Integrated Care Board (NHS Sussex) duties to address inequalities; endorse the recommendation that this should be subject to formal public consultation; agree that the decision of the NHS Sussex Board should be submitted to the West Sussex Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee (HASC) and consider if they would like NHS Sussex to formally consult with them on the proposals.

The ‘executive summary’ read: “Stroke is a preventable and treatable disease; however, it is one of the leading causes of death in the UK and the largest single cause of severe disability. One in eight strokes are fatal within the first 30 days, with one in four strokes fatal within a year.

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"The West Sussex (coastal) Acute Stroke services Pre–Consultation Business Case (PCBC) is a technical and analytical document that sets out the information necessary to support decision making regarding a proposed substantial change in NHS service delivery.”

Clinical acute stroke pathways for all University Hospitals Sussex (UHSussex) sites have been developed. These include pathways for those who self-present or experience a stroke event sites that would not have an acute stroke centre.

The draft PCBC has had expert opinion reviews including reviews by South East Clinical Senate and all comments received have been ‘adhered to and addressed’.

The spokesperson added: “The West Sussex (coastal) Acute Stroke PCBC sets out a compelling case for change and advises why ‘doing nothing’ is not tenable. It explains the options available which could address the need to change and describes the process taken to reach the final single proposed option. It has been fully tested by expert reviewers and peers, who have concluded it is the option that is clinically effective and viable, in terms of workforce and cost.”

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The NHS Sussex Board is asked to approve the proposal and ‘endorse the recommendation’ that it is taken forward to public consultation. This would likely run from February through to March, with feedback and the final decision following in May/June and July.

If agreed, transition to implementation would happen by next year.

The NHS Sussex Board meeting will take place from 10-11.30am on Microsoft Teams on Wednesday. Click here to see the agenda. Questions can be submitted to [email protected] and will be responded to in writing.